Blocked ears and ear pain can be uncomfortable and even worrying, but understanding why they happen is important for managing the symptoms. In this blog post we will explore some of the most common causes of blocked ears and ear pain, and look at when it might be time to visit an audiology clinic in Orléans. Read on to learn more about blocked ears and ear pain.
Common Causes Of Blocked Ears
- Infection: A common cause of blocked ears is an ear or sinus infection. These infections are typically caused by bacteria or viruses that enter the ear, leading to inflammation and sometimes a buildup of fluid in the area. This can lead to a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, as well as discomfort and sometimes fever.
- Allergies: Allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold can all cause congestion in the Eustachian tube which connects the back of your nose to your middle ear. When this congestion occurs it can lead to difficulty hearing properly and even blockage sensation in the ear.
- Earwax Buildup: Earwax is a natural, protective substance produced by your ears to trap dirt and debris and protect the ear from infection. However, too much wax can accumulate in the ear canal and block sound from entering, resulting in difficulty hearing as well as blocked ears. In addition, excessive buildup of wax can lead to itching, irritation, and even pain.
- Otosclerosis: This condition impacts the bones in the middle ear, which can impair the transmission of sound from the outer ear all the way to the hearing nerve that then carries signals to your brain. It can cause tinnitus and a feeling of fullness or blockage in one or both ears, and can result in hearing loss.
Common Causes Of Ear Pain
- Ear Infections: In addition to making your ears feel blocked, an ear infection is one of the most common causes of ear pain. It is typically caused by inflammation, sometimes due by a bacterial or fungal infection. Other symptoms may include muffled hearing, fever, tinnitus, discharge from the ears, dizziness, and loss of balance.
- Trauma: If the ear has been injured due to trauma, such as from a blow to the head or being struck by an object, you can probably expect some pain and discomfort. In some more serious cases, the eardrum may rupture which can lead to severe pain, hearing loss, and possibly dizziness.
- Jaw Problems: Painful clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint (TMJ) can be caused by a variety of problems such as arthritis or misalignment of teeth as examples. This can sometimes cause a feeling of blocked ears and ear pain, which may occasionally be accompanied by headaches and jaw stiffness.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions such as hay fever and seasonal allergies can cause inflammation of the Eustachian tube, which can lead to ear pain. During allergy season, you may also experience congestion and sneezing, itchy eyes, nasal discharge, and thick mucus in the back of your throat.
- Air Travel: Changes in air pressure can cause pain in the ears and a feeling of fullness due to unequal pressure on either side of your eardrum. This is more common when flying at higher altitudes but can also occur while driving in mountainous regions or underwater while swimming or diving.
- Earwax Buildup: If you have too much earwax buildup in your ears it can cause a blocked sensation as well as discomfort and itching. It is important to remember that although wax buildup may feel uncomfortable, it does serve an important purpose of protecting the ear from bacteria and other irritants. If you’re experiencing constant discomfort from excessive ear wax, see an Audiologist for a cerumen consultation & ear wax removal.
- Excessive Noise: Prolonged exposure to loud noise can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear and sometimes lead to ear-level sensitivities over time, as well as hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). If you are constantly exposed to loud noises, keep your ears and hearing safe with earmoulds & hearing protection.
When To See An Audiologist About Your Ear Problems
If you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, it is best to see an audiologist for a comprehensive evaluation:
- Ear level symptoms: pain, blockage, pressure or fullness
- Difficulty hearing from one or both ears
- Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
- Balance issues or vertigo
An audiologist can perform hearing tests and specialized assessments to help determine if your symptoms are stemming from your hearing system or not, and provide appropriate treatment options, whether you require further medical investigation with your Physician or an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist; or if another health professional can help, or if acoustic rehabilitation options, such as hearing aids, should be considered. Depending on the underlying cause, they can also offer advice on how to prevent further damage and keep your ears healthy. By regularly visiting an Audiologist in Orléans and serving all of Ottawa, you can ensure that you’re taking the best possible care of your ears
The Possible Consequences Of Untreated Ear Issues
If your ear-level symptoms go untreated, it can lead to further complications such as hearing loss, tinnitus, ear infections, and even vertigo. To avoid any potential long-term damage to your hearing system, it’s important to seek proper care for persistent or severe ear pain and blockage
By following these tips and visiting an audiology clinic in Orléans, you can take good care of your ears to help keep your hearing system healthy. Contact Echo Audiology today to make an appointment with one of our Audiologists.